NHL Return-to-Play: Schedule & Hub City Breakdown

Author: Sonali

It’s been almost four months since the NHL 2019-20 season came to a halt after the coronavirus outbreak. With sports restarting and announcing new dates, there is a bunch of information coming up every day (you must keep up with) so as not to miss any important information. 

In the same vein, the NHL is also preparing to return to play in full swing. We are almost getting close to returning to the ice, and we have already moved many steps closer to begin the play.

The Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Stanley Cup playoffs are around the corner with the NHL and NHLPA finally making a leap forward agreeing to the health and safety protocols officially. The NHL phase 3 training camps were delayed due to the negotiations going between the two sides. However, the league and the players’ association have both come to terms with the negotiations, and they are ready to move ahead. With this development coming, they have also made an announcement for the hub cities, and the qualifying round schedule release.

This is the first time since 1925, the entire Stanley Cup playoffs will be played in Canada. The league has clearly defined in its protocol, there will be no presence of fans in the fields to keep a check on the spread of coronavirus. The breakdown of the hub cities has also been defined in the protocol.

Here’s how the hub city breakdown has been done:

Edmonton: The home of the Oilers, Rogers Arena will host the games played by the 12 Western Conference teams who will stay at Edmonton. The Stanley Cup Final, and the Conference Finals will be played in Edmonton.

Toronto: The 12 East teams will stay at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, which is the home to the Maple Leafs.

The NHL schedule has already been announced. Here are the details of the NHL schedule:

July 13: The training camp opens for the 24 participating teams in the playoffs.

July 26: Tams travel from home markets to the hub cities for the respective teams.

July 28-30: Exhibition games date

August 1: Beginning of the Stanley Cup qualifiers.

August 9: Conclusion of the Qualifying round

August 10: Rest day

August 10: Phase 2 of the NHL Draft Lottery (Tentative date)

August 11: Beginning of the First round.

August 25: Beginning of the second round (Tentative date)

September 8: Beginning of the Conference Finals (Tentative date)

September 22: Beginning of the Stanley Cup Final (Tentative date)

October 4: Final Game

October 9-10: 2020 NHL Draft.

Before making the announcements for the NHL playoff seasons, the league has done all the health & safety preparations. The league officials have worked out the COVID-19 health & safety protocols. There is already a staunch plan in place whereby tests will be administered on the players and staff every day. Let’s hope everything goes as planned!

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